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CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

Good-Bye

Joe went to the farm, with the people who had come into town to shop. He had a talk with my Mom and with all our children - he said how he felt our time on the farm was over, and that we were going to live in Fort St. John. He spoke with the elders...some of them wished him well, others said he was "missing it". Then, he announced at mealtime, that we would be leaving in the morning. (I was in town, not well enough to make the trip, yet.) Some people came to him, to wish him well - others couldn't handle it and left without speaking to him.

Joe had a special talk with my Mom, saying how...just because we felt to live in town, didn't mean she had to, also - just like she had to hear from the Lord to move to the farm, so she would also have to hear from the Lord about leaving. He didn't want her to feel any pressure from us, in her making her decision. She felt to stay a while, to be sure.

Most of our children were eager to live in town, although not all of them - we said they all had to come with us. They used somebody's vehicle and a small trailer for our things...and it was off to town! We were told that all of us could live with the same family we had first stayed with; they had room downstairs, a lot of bedrooms (7 children didn't seem to bother them).

Joe continued to go to the local meetings in town; but he was getting discouraged - at every meeting, someone would say just "why" those who had left farms, should go back. Now...they had never even got as far as going to a farm, themselves; so he stopped going to meetings, this made it uncomfortable for us to live at one of the homes of the brethren.

An elder, from the farm, came to visit us - he didn't have anything good to say about us leaving the farm. Then, he pronounced, what turned out to be a curse, to Joe. He said that "the hireling leaves the flock when the going gets rough"; with the unsaid words - that a real shepherd wouldn't leave. This put Joe down-under for a few years.

Another elder, from the farm, said that "the Lord would tell you to go to a farm, but He would never tell you to leave a farm." He left the farm a few months later.

All is a very real part of growing up spiritually (as well as naturally); we don't despise a small child because he can't walk or talk; so, we shouldn't despise another (or even ourselves), when we are at a certain level of growth. Sometimes we forget that it's God who begins a good work in us, and it's also God who will complete that work...we begin something in the Spirit, and then think we can finish it in the flesh (with our own abilities).

So many times, on the farm and in later years - I would complain about someone's behavior and my Mom would always say, "Lorraine, the Bible says: `Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'" I didn't seem to believe it as much as she did...Mom went a lot deeper than most people gave her (or the Lord) credit for.

Mom had a hard time on the farm; she lived alone in our old cabin. Nobody helped her haul firewood or water; I think they didn't know what to do - they probably thought she would be leaving the farm, soon. Nobody hauled drinking water for her; and nobody dropped firewood off, at the cabin. She wasn’t able to carry very much, so she went next door and took firewood off their huge pile. She felt it was time to move back to Massachusetts; one of her old girlfriends would let her live there until she could get her own place.

My Mom came into town and spent a few days with us. She offered to loan us some money so we could buy a car...someone who had just moved to the farm had their station wagon for sale; we bought it. We paid Mom back every month. She didn't feel to live in FSJ, although someone had offered to hire her as a nanny for their small children - it would have been too much for her, she still wasn't feeling very well.

I had said how I missed having a wedding ring and wanted to get another one, someday...a thin band, with maybe a small design on it. Mom went into her bag and came out with just the exact ring...she had it from when she was married to my Dad. I probably had seen it when I was 5 years old and they divorced...I didn't know she still had it. I wore that ring for a few years, until I had gained weight and needed a larger one (I have saved it for one of our daughters, who asked me for it; as a keepsake-heirloom.)


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